Apple issues report on iPod factory conditions

A few weeks ago, you might have heard about a Chinese manufacturer/supplier with sub-par conditions for their employees. This group of over 200,000 people happened to be a piece in the iPod making puzzle. Apple released this today noting that the majority of the code of conduct was in compliance, and even better publicly admitted the things that weren’t right.

“We were not satisfied, however, with the living conditions of three of the off-site leased dorms that we visited. These buildings were converted by the supplier during a period of rapid growth and have served as interim housing. Two of the dormitories, originally built as factories, now contain a large number of beds and lockers in an open space, and from our perspective, felt too impersonal. The third contained triple-bunks, which in our opinion didn’t provide reasonable personal space.”

There are some numbers, that the factory management planned prior to the report to increase living space by 46% (of what I wonder). Also, Apple PR reported that cafeteria and other facilities were up to snuff.

Also, the pay scale was insanely complicated and manually managed. Interestingly, the factories had electronic ID tags and didn’t utilize this as a ‘clock in/out” tool. This isn’t rocket science here, and it is very suspicious that they wouldn’t link these systems together.

It sounds like a few things came out of this, which all are good. First, Apple did the right thing when it was called to their attention by responding and investigating. Then they hired experts (respected ones) to handle the rest of the loose ends and give reports back to Apple on changing the conditions that were noncompliant. This isn’t uncommon for companies to do. It does confirm, in my opinion that something fishy was going on. I don’t think Apple will tolerate it and would rather be a company that shows action and fixing it rather than pulling out and leaving 30,000 people jobless.

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